AJN, the Conference, or What’s So Great About Poster Sessions?

AJNConferenceThere’s been AJN, the print journal, since 1900. Then came AJNonline.com, our Website, which features not only all the content in the print journal (and I mean all of it, going back to the first issue of AJN), but supplemental content plus podcast interviews and weekly news updates. Then came our social networking sites—this blog and our presence on Facebook and Twitter.

And now we’ll be live and coming to a city near you in the form of the American Journal of Nursing Conference: Advancing Excellence in Nursing Practice, scheduled for October 4-6 in Chicago. It’s a continuation of what we do—provide timely, evidence-based content and cover “hot” issues important to nurses.

In addition to the preconference workshops, keynote presentation, concurrent sessions, and panels that are the norm for large, national meetings, the conference will also include poster sessions. I think many nurses not involved in research or from academia ignore posters and think of them as “not-quite-good-enough-to-be-real-sessions” topics. That’s far from the truth in most instances, especially in established conferences that have “name” presenters filling program slots. We see poster sessions as a way to highlight new work, work that may not have broad appeal but is important, or that extends topics covered in a session.

I love poster sessions. It’s a chance to meet researchers and clinicians who are doing exciting and innovative projects. The presenters are accessible and almost always eager to answer questions and explain their work. Where else can you get a one-on-one with a presenter? For someone not working in the clinical arena, posters are a window on current trends and clinical and system problems in need of solutions. And it’s often the place to meet the next generation of researchers and clinical leaders. (Not to mention the fact that posters are a great way to hone your own presentation skills.)

So I hope those of you who are doing innovative projects and pilot studies will submit a poster application—you have until August 24. Go to the conference Website for details.

At the very least, you’ll network and meet colleagues from around the country who can provide feedback to inform your work. And maybe you’ll meet an editor who will ask you to write up your project for publication . . . you never know where it may lead.

Shawn Kennedy, AJN editorial director

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Senior editor/social media strategy, American Journal of Nursing, and editor of AJN Off the Charts.

Comments are moderated before approval, but always welcome.

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